Decor for Deepavali

 Most traditional Indian homes will have their own collection of lamps. They could be in a variety of material ranging from silver, brass, bronze, bell metal, stainless steel, ceramic or terracotta. They could be spruced up innovatively.
 
After cleaning them you could use ornate sticker bindis at intervals to give it a glamorous effect. You could also use gem set bindis to give an ethnic look to the lamps.

This exercise is not very time-consuming and lends itself to your imagination. They can be removed at the end of the festival when the time comes for them to be put away. But then you need a lot more lamps than your collection.

Many people have now started lighting candles instead of the traditional mud lamps because they find it very troublesome to maintain and use the terracotta lamps, but you can circumvent this problem with a little planning and creativity.

Why don’t you deck your home with your own painted diyas? As the festive season is approaching you are bound to find a lot of mud lamps available in the market in various shapes and sizes. You pick your choice of diyas in terms of numbers, shapes and sizes. Soak them in water for 24 hours.

This will not only cleanse the lamps but will also segregate the damaged ones in terms of cracks or holes. Use golden hues or shades of yellow and apply the first coat of paint. Then use bright reds, greens to paint the outlines in the lamps. You may use other colours of your choice too but remember that this work of art has only a temporary phase of life.

Colours and sequins

You could tone up the work by using sparkle colours or sequins.No matter which kind of lamp you plan to use there are a few ground rules that you have to keep in mind when you light the lamps in order to stop leakage, dripping or overflow of oil. Find suitable cotton wicks; avoid the ones with thread or cloth.

You could pick up suitable sized nuts from your hardware shop and place them at the tongue of the lamps and pass the wicks through them.

This will prevent the oil from dripping or seeping over with heat. It will also reduce the blackening of the tip of the lamp where the flame touches the lamp. Fill the lamps a little below the outer rim with oil. You could float a few colourful sequins with holes at the centre; they will add colour and shine to the oil and give it a very glamorous look.

Because you will be lighting the lamps for the first time with the new wick, it could be a little cumbersome to light the lamp immediately. You could smear a wee bit of camphor at the tip of the wick to help it to light quickly and surely. This method will ensure lighting of the lamp quickly and efficiently especially in the windy and damp month of November particularly outside the home. Once your lamps are lit they can be placed in spots of your choice without any fear of spoiling the walls or the floor. Now you will not only have a practical solution to your oily problems but also have a well lit home.

To enhance the warmth and glow of your home, you could place lighted diyas within brass vessels at strategic points to give that golden touch.

When you want to light lamps in open spaces you could cover them with terracotta lamp tops. These bell shaped ventilated pieces allow the lamps to burn without being put off moreover the light that exudes from the decorative apertures will be most heart warming.

You could also paint these lamp tops gaily with fabric colours akin to the picture alongside. They collect soot only on the inside without soiling the exterior a place to your home. These lamp tops could be used regularly near the Brindavan (the tulsi plant).
They could be utilised during open air poojas or rituals too. When you want to display the lit lamps along with colourful rangolis on your porch these lamp tops could come in handy.
Now that you have a plethora of ideas at your disposal it may not be very difficult for you to come up with some of your own ideas and make this Deepavali a truly radiant one.

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